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Article

Ellen G. Landau

(b Allegheny, PA, May 11, 1894; d New York, NY, April 1, 1991).

American dancer and choreographer. Graham is widely considered a major pioneer and exponent of modernism. Her collaboration with American sculptor Isamu Noguchi, who designed costumes and sets for the Martha Graham Dance Company from 1935 to 1966, and the extraordinary photographs of her in performance by Imogen Cunningham, Soichi Sunami (1885–1971), Philippe Halsman (1906–79) and especially Barbara Morgan, link Graham’s revolutionary accomplishments in dance to experimentation in the visual arts. During the late 1930s and 1940s, her belief in the ability of dance to tap the power of myth and the unconscious anticipated and was analogous to the tenets of Abstract Expressionism.

Brought up in California the daughter of a physician, in 1916 at age 22, Graham began studying dance under Ruth St Denis (1879–1968) and Ted Shawn (1891–1972). Ten years later she formed the Martha Graham Center of Contemporary Dance in New York. While her own performances were initially based on the Denishawn style, by ...

Article

(b Epineuil, nr Tonnerre, Yonne, Jan 1827; d Saint-Mandé, Seine, May 5, 1892).

French printmaker and costume designer. After leaving school he became an apprentice draughtsman for the Paris-Lyon-Méditerranée railway company. While thus employed he also made his début as a caricaturist in the journal Gaulois, to which he contributed from 1858. In 1859 he had the first of many works published in the Journal amusant; his At the Opéra Ball (1860; Paris, Bib. N.) was for this publication. In 1860 he left the railway company and started to contribute to the Petit journal pour rire as well. He began working for Le Charivari in 1869, the year in which he co-founded, with Adrien Huart, the Almanach des Parisiennes, which published albums of prints for the next 19 years. It was about this time, when he began to concentrate on the manners and language of Parisian society, that Grévin established his mature style. Many of his designs, which were always accompanied by humorous captions, were inspired by the women of the demi-monde. Unlike many caricaturists of his age he avoided political topics....

Article

Dora Pérez-Tibi

revised by Kristen E. Stewart

(b Paris, April 20, 1879; d Paris, April 28, 1944).

French costume designer, dress designer and painter. Despite paternal opposition to his precocious artistic gifts, Poiret attracted attention with his first fashion drawings for Mme Chéruit at the Maison Raudnitz, 21, Place Vendôme, Paris. From 1898 to 1900 he worked for Jacques(-Antoine) Doucet and distinguished himself by creating the famous costume ‘Aiglon’ (Fr.: ‘eaglet’; the nickname of Napoleon II; untraced) for Sarah Bernhardt. From 1901 he worked for the fashion house Worth, where he designed the Eastern-influenced cloak, ‘Confucius’ (1901–2; Paris, Mus. Mode & Cost.). Poiret opened his first fashion house in 1902 on the Rue Auber in Paris. There he produced innovative designs such as the kimono coat and the ‘Révérend’ (1905; Paris, Mus. Mode & Cost.) and enlarged his clientele of famous customers. In 1910 he opened new salons in a large 18th-century house, in the Avenue d’Antin, where he created his famous ‘hobble-skirted’ dresses, drawn in at the hem. Dubbed the ‘Prophet of Simplicity’ in a ...

Article

Philip Ward-Jackson

[Jean-Jacques]

(b Geneva, May 23, 1790; d Bougival, June 4, 1852).

Swiss sculptor, painter and composer. Prompted by his early displays of artistic talent, Pradier’s parents placed him in the workshop of a jeweller, where he learnt engraving on metal. He attended drawing classes in Geneva, before leaving for Paris in 1807. By 1811 he was registered at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts and subsequently entered its sculpture competitions as a pupil of François-Frédéric, Baron Lemot. A more significant contribution to his artistic formation around this time was the guidance of the painter François Gérard. Pradier won the Prix de Rome in 1813 and was resident at the French Academy in Rome, from 1814 until 1819. On his return to France, he showed at the Salon of 1819 a group Centaur and Bacchante (untraced) and a reclining Bacchante (marble; Rouen, Mus. B.-A.). The latter, borrowing an erotically significant torsion from the Antique Callipygean Venus, opens the series of sensuous Classical female subjects that were to become Pradier’s forte. In ...